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National Money Laundering Strategy

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2002
115 pages
This document discusses the national strategy for the investigation and prosecution of major money laundering organizations.
Limited resources should be directed by Federal law enforcement agencies to ensure the greatest impact on the investigation and prosecution of money laundering. The importance of asset forfeiture must be emphasized as the most direct method of depriving criminals of their gains. Highly trained and experienced criminal investigators are needed to deconstruct large, complex money laundering schemes and to undertake asset forfeit investigations. The development of advanced money laundering training courses is proposed for Federal agents and prosecutors. Increased coordination and partnership between Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies, and the private sector is needed for the successful prosecution of large-scale money laundering organizations. In 2001, Federal law enforcement agencies seized over $1 billion in criminal assets, with over $300 million of that amount attributable to money laundering cases. Baseline numbers were identified for money laundering transactions in a variety of American cities. An international agreement was negotiated with four governments to plan a coordinated fight against the Black Market Peso Exchange. Advanced money laundering training was provided to front-line investigators. For the year 2000, statistics showed that there were small amounts of inmates that were in prison for laundering in excess of $1 million. Most inmates laundered smaller amounts of money. The focus of domestic enforcement efforts should be on dismantling the major money laundering operations. Efforts to eliminate safe havens for money launderers internationally should be improved. A coordinated, government-wide strategy to combat terrorist financing is extremely important in light of the events of September 11. By aggressively pursuing the money trails left by criminals and terrorists, law enforcement can identify and capture those involved, denying terrorist entities the funds necessary to finance further acts of terror. The 2002 strategy also focuses on the use of charities and other non-governmental organizations to raise, collect, and distribute funds to terrorist groups. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will revise its anti-laundering standards and identify and monitor the progress of non-cooperative countries and jurisdictions. 12 appendixes